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By Meg Watson
June 14, 2014
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By Meg Watson
June 14, 2014
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Gin has come a long way in the past few years. Once relegated to the back of your nana's pantry, reserved for particularly rough nights on the bingo circuit, this infamous clear spirit is now front and centre in Australia's bars. With tonic and citrus, it's your ideal summer refreshment, and in its various other forms it's the perfect winter warmer.

Though Australia doesn't have a huge part to play in today's World Gin Day celebrations — c'mon it's still the most British thing around since bangers and mash — we do sure love to drink it all the same. So, in honour of this spirit that's known less as a drink and more of a mascara thinner, we've compiled our favourite creations. Swing by the bottle-o on your way home, roll up your sleeves and get a little classy — here are five perfect ways to toast World Gin Day (or any other day for that matter).

Negroni

This Italian classic is not for the faint-hearted. A more alcoholic version of the Americano, this hard-core aperetif is perfect for a luxurious nightcap or after-dinner punch in the mouth. While the other spirits definitely dwarf the flavour of the gin, it's also a stereotypically gin-drinker's beverage — no nonsense, no fuss, and no prisoners.

  • 30 ml gin
  • 30 ml Campari
  • 30 ml sweet vermouth
  • orange rind

Method: Stir and pour over ice in short glass.

Drink: In the comfort of a leather armchair in the smoking room of a swanky Italian restaurant.

Gin Fizz

This is a fun, summery drink with a bunch of variations. Though each cocktail bar likes to put their own spin on this versatile hit, anything with St Germain or elderflower liqueur is guaranteed to be a winner. With the rich flavour of rosemary thrust among the citrus tang of the lemon, this is a drink any cocktail pro will rave about (and happily sit on all night).

  • 30ml gin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 30ml elderflower liqueur
  • 1 lemon slice
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • soda

Method: Shake alcohol and lemon juice, then strain over ice into highball and add garnishes.

Drink: Under the sun with a smug, satisfied look on your face.

Southside

Though its history is widely contested, it's widely established that this mint and lemon concoction dates back to the 1920s. Yet another gin cocktail with no mixers, the Southside is definitely for those with class. With a single sip it's guaranteed to transport you back to the late-night cafes of Hemingway's Paris or the dingy clubs of 1920s Chicago (depending on your historical biases).

  • 60 ml gin
  • the juice of 1 lemon
  • 15 ml sugar syrup
  • a decent handful of mint leaves

Method: Shake all ingredients until the mint is pulped, and finely strain into a coupe glass.

Drink: With an outstretched pinky and a 1920s cigarette holder.

Tom Collins

Are you sick of gin and tonics? Does the thought of one more Gordon's London Dry and home brand tonic make you cringe? It's probably time to spice it up a bit (or alternatively, stop drinking). The Tom Collins is a classic cocktail that doesn't vary too much from the well-trodden G&T terrain. Swap that tonic for soda, sweeten the deal with some cherries and sugar, and away you go — a convenient twist on a summer classic.

  • 30 ml  gin
  • 30 ml sugar syrup
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 lemon slices
  • 1 glazes cherry
  • soda

Method: Stir and pour over ice in a highball glass.

Drink: At your next picnic or beach getaway.

Martini

While a vodka martini may be the standard (for James Bond fans at least), gin martinis are undoubtedly for the more refined palette. And either way, the martini is a drink for the purist. This is a cocktail with no junk in it — it lives and dies on the quality of its spirits. Of course, there are a million types of variations out there (Espresso, Apple, Marshmallow etc) but really those are all amateur hour. To raise a drink to World Gin Day, it has to be the real thing.

  • 60 ml gin
  • 30 ml dry vermouth
  • olives or a twist of lemon for garnish

Method: Shake gin and vermouth with ice, stir for 30 seconds, then strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish.

Drink: In a morose fashion while at a bar you feel slightly intimated by.

Photo credits: Oriol Lladósushiesque, and Isabelle @ Crumb,  Clint Gardner, and RenaudPhoto via photopin cc.

Published on June 14, 2014 by Meg Watson

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